Subhas Pattanayak’s NABAKALEBARA: LEGENDS AND REALITY would help the world understand Sri Jagannath, says Soumya Ranjan Patnaik


Pictorial input: Laxmi Prasad Pattanayak

Journalist Subhas Chandra Pattanayak’s two historic books – (1) Orissa Pradesh Srustire Ganamadhyam and (2) Nabakalebara: Legends and Reality – were released in the evening of December 29 in the jampacked auditorium of Red Cross Bhavan, Bhubaneswar by eminent author Dash Benhur.


Addressing the event chaired by Prof. Jayant Kumar Biswal, editor of Orissa’s largest circulated daily ‘The Sambad’ and Chief Guest of the event, Sri Soumya Ranjan Patnaik said that, had the book – Nabakalebara: Legends and reality been published at the time of Nabakalebara, it could have become best-seller. Yet, written in English, it is well set to help the world understand SriJagannatha in the perspective of history and social evolution. It is a speaking endeavor to bring out the reality from beneath the heaps of legends; and hence, as much a book of reference, it opens gateway to in-depth research on the topic, he said.

Discussing the book, Chief Speaker Prof. Biswaranjan strongly endorsed Sri Pattanayak’s deeply researched determination that Sri Jagannatha is a deity of agro-magic, originally conceived as the torso of a mother in consonance with Bouddha Tantra, which the practitioners of Brahmanya Dharma have changed into a male deity Vishnu of Hindu pantheon to wipe out the Buddhist tenets in Cult of Jagannatha. Sri Pattanayak’s work is of utmost relevance to study of Jagannath in proper perspective, he said, citing profusely from the book and comparing the same with observations of various scholars.

Famous orator and editor of Subartta, Pradyumna Satpathy gave a scholarly analysis on Pattanayak’s other book – Orissa Pradesh Srustire Ganamadhyama (Role of Mass media in creation of Orissa). Contextualizing the book with the ongoing movement for governance of Orissa in Oriya, he strongly stressed upon use of this book as a backgrounder to the current language movement.

Both the books were offered respectively to Surjyaprava editor and author Rabi Kanungo and to Columnist and thinker Tusarkanta Satpathy by the author Sri Pattanayak as a token of Lokarpana (presentation to public). In reply to the offering, both of them spoke of the relevance the books for Orissa.

Guest of Honor, eminent poet Dash Benhur held both the books as thought-provokingly relevant, when editor of the daily newspaper Sanchar Prasanta Patnaik lauded the focus the books have laid upon Orissa’s cultural excellence in advancing the zeal for governance of Orissa in Oriya and in projecting the unseen facets the cult of SriJagannatha.

In his Presidential address, Prof. Jayanta Kumar Biswal lauded the scholarly pursuit behind both the books and their value of reference.

Political Scientist Dr. Netaji Abhinandan (Ravenshaw University), quite close to the author as his son’s intimate friend, welcomed the guests, with Chief Executive of Shabdasparsha Pabitra Mohan Maharatha initiating the event. Major Dr. Kumudini Barai proposed the vote of thanks.

Leaders of Orissa Bhasa Sangram Samiti and language activists – poet Sankarshan Parida, poet Umakant Raut and Dr. Subrat Kumar Prusty were felicitated by the Chief Guest Sri Soumya Ranjan Patnaik on behalf of Shabdasparsha. Felicitations were also given to poet Gajanan Mishra and to Prof. Natabar Satpathy in absentia for their role in the language movement.

Poet Saroj Bal graced the event by reciting his poem on magnificence of Oriya language.

Orissa is equipped with unique data on its letters: Latest part of Sahitya Mahabharat launched

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

AMJournalist Asit Mohanty, the insightful untiring author, whose works cover major areas of Oriya literature, has come out with his latest part of Sahitya Mahabharat, a compilation of his column of the same caption, which Sri Soumya Ranjan Patnaik – chief of ‘Eastern Media’ where he works – released in the evening of January 27 in presence of Sri Rabi Kanungo, editor of Suryaprava, wherefrom the acclaimed column was reaching the readers every fortnight.

SM-CStyled in terms of the epic of principled battle, this part is presented as the second ‘Parva’ and with this, Orissa is now equipped with unique data that help studying contemporary Orissa’ scenario of letters, with its magnificence, and its contradictions.

The compilation provides Orissan authors with a perfect mirror to locate where black spots affect their brilliance.

The column ‘Sahitya Mahabharat’ had generated lots of interest in Orissa as its author was not in byline, but under a pseudonym: ‘Sri Sanjay’. Often hit with his depictions, fame-seekers and award mongers amongst Orissa’s persons of letters were wondering who Sri Sanjay was, even though sagacious analysis and style of the write-ups was making some of them assume that the pseudonym must be of Asit Mohanty.

Release of Sahitya MahabharatPublisher of the compilation Sri Saroj Bal of Orissa’s stylish publishing house ‘Time Pass’ used the occasion to take the curtain off Sri Sanjay. Asit Mohanty came out of the pseudonym.

Editor of Suryapraava Sri Rabi Kanungo gave a great account of the stir the caustic column was making amongst the State’s authors and how he was to disappoint many of his personal friends eager to know the real name of the columnist.

Editor of Sambad and founder of Ama Odisha Sri Soumyaranjan Patnaik, in releasing the book, expressed pride over having a colleague who so ably has acted such a sentinel of Oriya literature. True, many men of letters revolve around Estern Media. But, lest they feel embarrassed, using a pseudonym and that too in a different forum was not necessary for Mr. Mohanty, he said. Uncompromising criticism helps excellence grow and hence Orissa’s writers should welcome both the volumes of Sahitya Mahabharat, opined Patnaik.

Eminent author and scholar Prof. Biswaranjan discussed on the book. We like to share his speech verbatim. It is in Oriya language and meant for the Oriyas of the world.

Gnanapith award to Prativa Ray was manipulated, states Bibhuti Patnaik

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Eminent academician and author Bibhuti Patnaik has stated that Sitakant Mohapatra “purchased” Gnanapith award for Ms. Prativa Ray by way of manipulation, similarly as he had misused his position to get her nominated to executive council of the Central Sahitya Academy in 2002.

cover of chithi_spring 14In a letter to Prof. Biswaranjan, published in the Spring 2014 edition of ‘Biswaranjananka CHITHI’, Bibhutibabu has expressed deep concern over aggressive spread of feudalism in the world of letters despite extermination of kingship and zamidari. Big industrialists and ultra-high wealth accumulators have emerged as new kings and zamidars in the world of letters by way of literary awards like Saraswati and Gnanapith they have created and control. Civilian Awards like Padma for literature and fabulous cash prizes for literary works are just the fripperies of literary feudalism, he has observed.

In penning an exposure, he has come down heavily on Sitakant Mohapatra, who, according to him, had misused his position as Chairman of National Book Trust of India to get Ms. Prativa Ray nominated to General Council of India’s National Academy of Letters and has again misused his position as Chairman of the Gnanapith Selection Committee to give her the Gnanapith Award.

Bibhuti Patnaik on literary awardsDeclaring that he shall tirelessly, even if alone, continue to fight against this cultural feudalism and literary anarchy, Bibhutibabu has said that such mess in literature, so discernible today, is generated by the diseased mentality of certain persons that pull back the writers from the front row, by any means, to snatch away awards like Gnanapith and Saraswati.

The fellows who, too deficient to win, are “purchasing” these awards to decorate themselves with; and the fellows who, despite being in selection committees, are helping them in this illicit work, are despicable, he has said, while deploring how, instead of condemning these fellows for their vileness, we are saluting them.

DIALECTICS: A poem from


ORISSA MATTERS launches literary forum SHABDASPARSHA

Celebration of the Republic Day ushered in a new literary forum styled Shabdasparsha that literally means embrace of letters.

kabi milana_ shabdasparsha

Launched by in the premises of The NEWS Syndicate, it commenced with a Kabi Milan (poets’ get-together), presided over by Prof. Bishwaranjan.

Poets Badal Mohanty, Durga Charan Sarangi, Girija Shankar Dash, Pabitra Mohan Maharatha, Akshaya Behera, Subhas Chandra Pattanayak recited their poems. In also reciting his poem, President Bishwaranjan focused on the speaking influence of poetry on progress of human society at every stage of revolution for a better world.

ORISSA MATTERS chief Subhas Chandra Pattanayak, convener of the forum informed that Shabdasparsha shall organize monthly interaction of poets in cause of Oriya letters. Associates Durga Charan Sarangi, Pabitra Mohan Maharatha and Devi Prasanna Nayak are in charge of organisation.

In his introductory speech Poet Maharatha briefed on why the Forum was felt a necessity. Vote of thanks was proposed by Poet Sarangi.


Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Birth control should go unrestrained, but there must be no restraint on publication of Oriya books, said the founder of Ama Odisha and Editor of Sambad, Soumya Ranjan Pattanaik while speaking on occasion of launching of the fourth collection of short stories by veteran media person Prasanta Patnaik on July 17.

Dwelling on Orissa’s present literary scenario he stressed on necessity of books in Oriya in massive scale as the people’s spine rests on their vocabulary. He regretted that in the land of love for the mother tongue where because of that love modern Orissa had taken birth defeating all align conspiracies, Oriya is drifting below day by day as an applied language. He called upon all language papers of Orissa to adopt the mission of language protection from unconcerned administration and stressed that Authors, publishers and critics must wake up to restore the impaired dignity of the mother tongue of the people.

When in recent times, publications of novels and poem books have declined in Orissa, short stories have ample acceptability, he observed. But he stressed that authors must mix with the grassroots and focus on the common issues vis-à-vis individual’s so that people will find the books to be their own and literature can play its role in nation building. Had Gopinath Mohanty not gone to Koraput or Prof. Biswaranjan to Phulbani, Paraja or Phulabanira Chithi could not have manifested with illuminating details of their subjects, he noted, while congratulating Prasanta for having reflected life as he has observed as a journalist in his stories.

Prof. Biswaranjan, editor of Khabar, gave a lively critique on the book throwing light on how it could be termed as a live humanitarian history, not mere imaginative narrations.

Octogenarian writer and editor of “Samaya” Mr. Satakadi Hota, presiding over the colorful event, dwelt briefly on the history of Oriya short stories and highly commended Prasanta’ work for the precise depiction of human being’s soft self in incisive perfection.

The author gave a short account of the backgrounds of his stories. Chief Guest Prafulla Ch. Ghadai, Minister Finance, welcomed the book and profoundly commended it to the public.

Publisher Nrusinga Prasad Mishra of Cuttack Students Store coordinated the function.

The book is captioned as Krushnachudara Ranga (Color of Bougainvillea). It has 20 short stories written when he was in the prime of his youth. Most of the stories are based on the philosophy of life, which he adopted from Nobel Laureate Earnest Hemingway’s worthy words, “a man can be destroyed, but he can not be defeated, if he is true to himself”. Persons deeply observed by the author in piercing eyes of a journalist have come in as characters in these stories. The 144 page pack of lively stories is priced only Rs.80/-

Associated Media Foundation Stirs The Soul With The Twin Gifts

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The two new titles brought out by Associated Media Foundation stir the soul as one goes through Swara Maya of Prof. Chandraprava Pattanayak and Ravana Podi of her husband, Orissa’s eminent journalist, Prasanta Patnaik.

Mrs. Pattanayak is, over and above her academic role, a social activist with left leaning and therefore, naturally, in her letters, oneness with dreams of the downtrodden and the exploited, including women, blossom into poetic petals. But her feelings, in a traditional but unique way, take shape on the collective conscience of society that looks like a mirage, but emits the melody of desirable life. This is how she has coined the title of her first compilation of 78 of her published poems, Swara Maya.

It is a must reading if watching how modern poems capture societal feeling is one’s intention.

And, now as I read between the lines that the compilation of twelve short stories-Ravana Podi-offers, its author Prasanta Patnaik comes live before the mind’s eyes. Clear as always he is in dress and dealings, there is no ambiguity in telling what he feels. Feels or observes? I am inclined to say, he observes.

Mr. Patnaik has observed Orissa in its entirety. Administration in its necked reality has been unveiled umpteen times by his unperturbed pen and lenses in print and electronic media. He writes because the wrong side of individual and collective character must be chiseled out to give way to the finer aspect of life.

If a Ravana or wrongdoer is there, there must be his podi or extermination. No compromise. This is Prasanta Patnaik and this is what his stories are based upon.

Collect the books and enjoy the book fair season.

You can get them from known book stores or from 5R, F-5, Unit-3, Bhubaneswar 751001.